Margaret Bayard Smith (1778-1844) was a friend of Thomas Jefferson and chronicler of early life in Washington, D.C. She met Jefferson through her husband, Samuel Harrison Smith, a Republican newspaperman and founder of the National Intelligencer.

Mrs. Smith's recollections of Washington society life in the early nineteenth century constitute one of the major sources of information on Jefferson's social life as President.[1] After Jefferson's retirement from political life, Smith visited him at Monticello. Her account of this visit is another fruitful source of information on Jefferson's daily life and family.[2]Anchor

Further Sources

Podcast: Margaret Bayard Smith, "A Mind So Active"

Monticello guide Danna Kelley introduces us to Margaret Bayard Smith — writer, biographer, Washington socialite, political influencer, and friend of Thomas Jefferson — whose life closely aligned with the idea of Republican Motherhood.


  1. ^ Smith, First Forty Years384-412.
  2. ^ Smith, First Forty Years66-79. See also Peterson, Visitors, 45-54.